Grindr, Internet Dating, Gay Culture but still Alone

  • fb4you

    Posts: 21

    Nov 17, 2011 5:44 AM GMT
    Hey All,

    I don't want this to come off desperate as I am not, I have a lot of great thing going for me and am actively trying to improve myself. I just want to understand others thinking on this...

    Is it me or as a society are we going down the crapper. For instance I organize a gay outdoor activity group here in San Francisco and I started it in 2006. Initially there was a great response as men wanted a way to meet others organically without doing the bars or the Internet thing. Flash Forward now its 2011 and everyone is on Grindr it seems, it gives the gay man some super power of feeling connected, a personal marketing campaign if you will. The numbers in my group have significantly reduced to the point now I only see a handful for any event. In fact I had a event one time where a few of the guys were on Grindr instead of chatting with others who were their to interact with. I was told by one guy when asked why he never shows up anymore that he doesn't need to he has guys contact him all the time and gets a lot of sex (which was in his mind the point). Has it become so easy to get laid no one needs to put any effort out weather its platonic or further.

    Another friend just got out of a 7 year relationship he said it was a bit of time warp for him as he put it... "The scene is utterly depressing. But it is what it is. and things happen for a reason."

    Block or not block, grass is greener so why settle, wanted super model for a not so average Joe, demanding others follow our commands and standards, or those who keep their options open for the 20 favorites chasing you on a app, etc...

    Have we become a society of Jekyll and Hide. The guy who wants a bf but online his persona is supper slut. It's very easy to be anyone you want after all online. I just think that's sad we are rejecting real connection and instead going for something more. Guys are content to have someone make them not "bored" (I never liked that phrase) by doing pointless chat.

    Is it flaky everywhere or just SF where people say one thing and do another or treat you like a appetizer instead of a main course? Go on one date with you and unless you put out be texting or grinding for the next victim. Or the sex is great and you want more but they are moving on to fresh meat.

    I can honestly say while I want that connection I am drawn in as well to this socio- technical experience. I don't meet guys through my friends, or events, or gay bars, or groups. I am busy with improving myself / working hard, others seeming disinterested and my friends are simply that friends make it hard to have my romantic and sexual needs covered. I like many get on grindr and hope for something more but instead find huge wastes of my time.

    What gets me is the pure and utter disrespect and I wouldn't consider myself a dummy but when I am drawn in to the right answers and great chats and want to meet in person. We do finally meet and the person says they have a great time then their is nothing I wonder is there something wrong in the process. Is it just to easy to keep looking elsewhere or to fantasize they will find a guy with no problems, issues, or imperfections.

    Even on OKCupid/Match/Yahoo Dating I get guys asking Top or Bottom or seeming just as flaky and the guys are disinterested. Relationships take work and time, I think sometimes men forget this and get caught up in the instantaneous of it. They will send a message you response maybe chat back and forth and then never hear from them again or you meet once and its over. Have we lost all respect for our fellow human being. What is the point with all these men who are so alone and look to find a way to fill those needs but nothing in front of them is good enough. It is the utter disappointment of putting the effort out yet not feeling others are that is disheartening to me. Online feels like a huge waste of time and effort yet I continue to want something out of the experience because I am not meeting others in real life to date.

    So how does one find genuine connections in the Era of Grindr, A4A, etc...
    Is it ruining existing relationships as well (look at all those happily taken but naked pictures on grindr just looking for friends).

    Look at Wiener. Also the mentality and media of the gay community encourage, first we discover our sexuality through porn, and we think everyone should be perfect like that or it all should be oh so easy.

    How does one compete with the superficiality of it all, as we age we get less attractive. Is it simply easier not to settle at all and instead fill this feeling and needs with temporary bliss. After all their are more images waiting on Grindr, Facebook. or Scruff.

    Sherry Turkle wrote a book called "Alone Together" about how technology is effecting society and what she found is it is hurting not helping interactions and any sort of real relationship. People Feel more alone then ever when we are more connected than ever before. We as a society escape into the realms of social technical experiences to escape ourselves and find something that can never exist in that realm of thinking. We are so overwhelmed by the technologies which are supposed to make our lives better if not more simplistic we find ourselves stressed and not happy with these quasi- relationships. Many people txt now instead of call or write because it allows more un- emotional connection, they are to tired to take the time it takes to talk on the phone.

    Anyways sorry it's so long but love some of your response on this. The holiday times is difficult for many including me because it makes you realize your alone.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 6:13 AM GMT
    Your post hit on a lot of points so I will try to touch as much as I can...

    It's not just you or where you are at, it's pretty much the gay scene around the country. Even with my partner, we find friends can be very flaky and generally distant at times. We see a lot of people who get boyfriends all the time and can generally tell if their relationship will last. Relationships take a lot of work. Gays think that the grass is always greener on the other side so they end up breaking up for the littlest of reasons. No one is perfect, but this "ideal" man that the gay community strives for is far and few between. Tall, muscular, straight acting and white men are the ideal to many, but very few can actually get that. Even if you do get that, maintaining it takes work and effort. It's something many say they want, but actually do little for it. Me and my man have been together for 5 years and plan to marry sometime in 2012-13. But it hasn't been easy. But we know we love each other and are in this together. We want the same future and I think that is the most important part of a relationship. That in 5,10,50 years you see yourself with that person.



    We go to a gay running group here in DC, and the crowd is pretty large weekly.Gays in general are fickle. I here people say "Oh the gay scene in (insert city here) is so bad' Well the gay scene in every town is bad if you don't know the right people. When we first moved to DC it took awhile for us to get connected and plant roots. It's hard seeing guys new to the city seem so lonely when out and about. I feel really sad for older guys or guys who aren't that attractive try to make it in the scene. At a club I go to (it's kinda trendy and full of attitude) I see this old WW2 vet there all the time just hanging by himself. I have no idea what he is looking for but I know it must be lonely to be there time after time and not meet anyone. I guess I only add to the problem by not talking to him, which is a whole other issue.

    Just relaize it's not just you. Everyone faces this issue from time to time. Just put yourself out there if you really want to meet new people. Whats the worst they can do??
  • fb4you

    Posts: 21

    Nov 17, 2011 7:16 AM GMT
    How does one stand out or be original in the sea of internet ads and selection?

    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HERENo one is perfect, but this "ideal" man that the gay community strives for is far and few between. Tall, muscular, straight acting and white men are the ideal to many, but very few can actually get that.


    That is me except the muscular part and I am doing things like grad school to improve myself, still I do not stand out. I do contact guys and try to make a effort which they tend to act interested in until they string me along and act as if something better is out there. I think many gay men don't know themselves let alone what they want. They do what is easiest and feels best. They lack good communication skills and instead because of homophobia do not know how to date/ never learned how to interact with people properly.

    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREThat in 5,10,50 years you see yourself with that person.


    Exactly my point we age and loose our looks what are these instantaneous men who are brought up in a superficial world where hard work was not part of their lives going to do which people the same age as them on Grindr, typically they ignore them and look for much younger.

    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREWe go to a gay running group here in DC, and the crowd is pretty large weekly.


    I started my group in 2006 it was very busy, now it is not, you are right gay men are fickle and move onto the next big thing. I think even bars are suffering was talking to a bar owner who told me his business has gotten much worse since Grindr... who needs to go out to meet anyone anymore / it's free and convenient .

    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREWhen we first moved to DC it took awhile for us to get connected and plant roots.


    I have lived in California / SF bay area most of my life. I think it also has the same effect if you are too well known and not fresh meat you are sorta ignored. Also they think well if he seems so good to be true why isn't he in a relationship instead of realizing the pattern has to do with online dating (people assume before they really know).

    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREJust realize it's not just you. Everyone faces this issue from time to time. Just put yourself out there if you really want to meet new people. Whats the worst they can do??


    Appreciate that and ...that was my point, one starts to get disappointed discouraged when they continually put themselves out there but feel the same results occur.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 1:12 PM GMT
    I have a point to make here...IF I WANTED TO READ A DAMN BOOK I'D GRAB MY KINDLE.
    Go yap to someone who gets paid to listen to a life-story, bro.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 1:35 PM GMT
    OP:

    I think most people would agree with you. Things in society have changed but, I don't think it's a due to the internet and Grindr. Even before, people my age had already noticed that the younger ones had no manners, no sense of respect for others, and were already beginning to lose social skills. How often do you hear a person use polite terms such as "yes, sir", "no, sir", "yes, ma'am" and "no, ma'am"?

    Again, it was happening before internet and Grindr.

    By the way, I was your age when I met my partner, in a cruise bar, 19 years ago.

    Gay life used to be centered around bars, if you wanted any type of interaction with other gay men. Today, that isn't true. Today, there are many other ways to meet and interract with gays, in all areas of life, not just bars.

    So, I think the continuing acceptance of gays into mainstream may have more to do with these issues than the internet or Grindr.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 1:39 PM GMT
    In the *cough*20*cough* years since I have been "in the scene" I have definitely seen a decline in attendance at gay social groups of all sorts, as well as a decline in the number of bars and people in the ones that remain.

    I think the Internet is a big part of it, but also you must consider that the higher level of acceptance by society, especially younger people, means that gay folks don't feel like they need to ghettoize themselves into gay-only activities to the degree that they used to. Thus someone who is partnered or not actively looking may be less inclined to spend time at a gay bowling league, etc. It does make you wonder how much "interest" in said activities was just a veneer to scope out potential mates, as your one ex-member stated.

    Being in a relationship with someone who is a lot less social than I am, I still participate in some group activities like this because for some reason it feels less awkward to go solo to a gay event than a straight one, depending on what it is. It would be nice if more people would attend.

    In general, I feel for ya, because I would hate to be single now esp. at my age. I don't have the looks or the marketing skills to "compete" in an arena that seems ever more superficial and cut-throat.
  • stratavos

    Posts: 1831

    Nov 17, 2011 2:00 PM GMT
    27828X saidI have a point to make here...IF I WANTED TO READ A DAMN BOOK I'D GRAB MY KINDLE.
    Go yap to someone who gets paid to listen to a life-story, bro.


    Similar to Kanye West, nice to know...

    to the TC: yes it's a decaying world out there currently, but anything worth doing is not easy. I know that I haven't touched grindr in roughly 2 weeks, and I'll probably leave it alone for a month or more. Just keep being genuine and someone will show up '~'
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 2:07 PM GMT
    27828X saidI have a point to make here...IF I WANTED TO READ A DAMN BOOK I'D GRAB MY KINDLE.
    Go yap to someone who gets paid to listen to a life-story, bro.


    Hey, Douchebag!

    With a profile headline like "Being A Jagoff Is All Part Of My Manly Essence." it's no surprise that you lack any sort of basic manners or respect for anyone or anything.

    I bet you are just the case in the OP's point, and you are pissed that the OP dared to post something that took you away from your busy life of collecting STI's.

    Well, here's a bright idea for ya: If the post is TL;DR for your precious time you'd rather be cruising A4A looking for the next dick to hop on, then don't waste our time whining about it.

    Hit your back button and go find some lame "guy above you" thread, or better yet, just keep your upper fuckhole shut if you can't contribute anything useful to the thread.

    kthxbye!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 2:19 PM GMT
    Here's one more thing I learned the hard way:

    When you are going out, try really hard not to make "meet a man" your barometer for whether it's going to be a good time or not. I used to do this and it was (I learned later) coming across in my body language when I was out. If you're with friends, focus on being "in the moment" with them and having a good time, and that will shine through. More appealing than the pink neon "looking" sign around one's neck, from one who's been there.

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    Nov 17, 2011 2:36 PM GMT
    Well, I'm tall, muscular, straight-acting and white and alone. If that's the ideal and everybody's chasing after that, then something's going wrong in the search process. I agree with everything you wrote, OP. Very good observations! I fear it's only going to get worse.
  • fb4you

    Posts: 21

    Nov 17, 2011 2:41 PM GMT
    27828X saidI have a point to make here...IF I WANTED TO READ A DAMN BOOK I'D GRAB MY KINDLE.
    Go yap to someone who gets paid to listen to a life-story, bro.


    Have you read a book in your lifetime, if not try to avoid them they might impart knowledge and change. It's a free country and their is a small thing called a back button your insulting me with no real cause is the reason I wrote the "book." Adding fuel to the flame you prove the very points I make and I thank you for that, be well.
  • fb4you

    Posts: 21

    Nov 17, 2011 2:47 PM GMT
    PaulNKS saidOP:

    I think most people would agree with you. Things in society have changed but, I don't think it's a due to the internet and Grindr. Even before, people my age had already noticed that the younger ones had no manners, no sense of respect for others, and were already beginning to lose social skills. How often do you hear a person use polite terms such as "yes, sir", "no, sir", "yes, ma'am" and "no, ma'am"?

    Again, it was happening before internet and Grindr.

    By the way, I was your age when I met my partner, in a cruise bar, 19 years ago.

    Gay life used to be centered around bars, if you wanted any type of interaction with other gay men. Today, that isn't true. Today, there are many other ways to meet and interract with gays, in all areas of life, not just bars.

    So, I think the continuing acceptance of gays into mainstream may have more to do with these issues than the internet or Grindr.


    As a MBA I agree with many of your terms I have to study generational changes and how to manage them. Some of the worst are gen Y as they always are asking whats in it for me and never seem to take any initiative. They get bored easily and want to be entertained. This is all from research by the way. I really do think you should read Alone Together by Sherry Turkle it really paints a picture of whats going on with technology and social interaction. This is what my thesis is on also, hence my curiosity.

    I used Grindr as a metaphor for social interaction as it is the most popular I think many sites / the internet could be considered the same. What Grindr did was make it more about superficiality and instant response and less about interaction or even a profile, look at the very name its "Grindr," imagine being a young gay guy and experiencing that, it would definitely have changed my upbringing.
  • fb4you

    Posts: 21

    Nov 17, 2011 2:58 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile saidIn the *cough*20*cough* years since I have been "in the scene" I have definitely seen a decline in attendance at gay social groups of all sorts, as well as a decline in the number of bars and people in the ones that remain.

    I think the Internet is a big part of it, but also you must consider that the higher level of acceptance by society, especially younger people, means that gay folks don't feel like they need to ghettoize themselves into gay-only activities to the degree that they used to. Thus someone who is partnered or not actively looking may be less inclined to spend time at a gay bowling league, etc. It does make you wonder how much "interest" in said activities was just a veneer to scope out potential mates, as your one ex-member stated.

    Being in a relationship with someone who is a lot less social than I am, I still participate in some group activities like this because for some reason it feels less awkward to go solo to a gay event than a straight one, depending on what it is. It would be nice if more people would attend.

    In general, I feel for ya, because I would hate to be single now esp. at my age. I don't have the looks or the marketing skills to "compete" in an arena that seems ever more superficial and cut-throat.


    This is true gay men don't have to "ghettoize" themselves like they used to or hide behind a bush but they definitely still deal with a media which paints gays in a non- positive light, non affirming role models or examples of a happy gay lifestyle, a all time high of drugs and sexual abuse problems. Now being out is no so much the problem its the process I think. How does a young teenager deal with the mass of information and availability. How does someone older fit into a world ruled by technology. IF we have no places to meet and technology fills the spot of sexuality then why is community needed. One friend said and maybe it has some value he feels gay events are a excuse to hookup. Regardless I think the isolation technology and the availability it brings will have its backlash on the gay community. For instance in my community everyone ignores everyone or blocks them, instead looking for fresh meat. The workplace is competitive let alone the dating world, so many options for prospective to choose and how does one stand out of others all vying for attention. One guy put recently on Grindr "looking for someone to "choose" me, I am just one out of many."
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Nov 17, 2011 3:00 PM GMT
    I do not think most actually want a relationship. I think most just like the idea of being in a relationship. I also think most feel entitled and feel they can do whatever they want even when are in a relationship. i have met two guys and i after talking to both they seemed to wanted things to be perfect. they wanted someone that was going see things there way and if you did not than it was not worth effort. this fine by me but i just thought it was a bit crazy to think that someone would agree with everything you say and do.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Nov 17, 2011 3:00 PM GMT
    27828X saidI have a point to make here...IF I WANTED TO READ A DAMN BOOK I'D GRAB MY KINDLE.
    Go yap to someone who gets paid to listen to a life-story, bro.



    CONGRATULATIONS!! You win the "ASSHOLE OF THE DAY" award at RJ.

    Kudos to the OP for starting a thought provoking thread on a topic that we can actually all relate to in some way because the technology that is making such a huge dent in our social senses can, and is having repercussions on many levels of society. The sad thing is that this whole age of GRINDR, and other similar apps, is probably only the beginning of what will likely have an even bigger impact as more and more resources become available for people to interact without actually having to meet at all. Technology has provided us a "safety net" of sorts in which to interact with others (even anonymously if we choose) from within the confines of our own home...and I'm not so sure if it will ultimately prove to be a good thing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 3:05 PM GMT
    tuffguyndc saidI do not think most actually want a relationship. I think most just like the idea of being in a relationship. I also think most feel entitled and feel they can do whatever they want even when are in a relationship. i have met two guys and i after talking to both they seemed to wanted things to be perfect. they wanted someone that was going see things there way and if you did not than it was not worth effort. this fine by me but i just thought it was a bit crazy to think that someone would agree with everything you say and do.


    Agreed, I'm disheartened how the response to so many relationship questions or challenges on here is "move on" as if there is no possibility of dialogue or compromise. No relationship will ever be perfect, and holding out forever for your dream man leads to a whole lotta lonely.
  • fb4you

    Posts: 21

    Nov 17, 2011 3:06 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile saidHere's one more thing I learned the hard way:

    When you are going out, try really hard not to make "meet a man" your barometer for whether it's going to be a good time or not. I used to do this and it was (I learned later) coming across in my body language when I was out. If you're with friends, focus on being "in the moment" with them and having a good time, and that will shine through. More appealing than the pink neon "looking" sign around one's neck, from one who's been there.



    Funny thing when I go out, if I go out (grad student here so not really my scene more of the coffee shop or a group of close friends kinda guy) I am never really actively searching. Or coming across as desperate, I enjoy my friends company and that's my main objective. I am told someone who is outgoing, well spoken, fun to be around, etc... seems preoccupied and thus unapproachable. I definitely think its harder for a gay man to find real friends than a str8 guy because of the sexual pressure and the clouding of the word of what a "true" friend is. Do we as a society really have time for friends or do we want them instant like our coffee and facebook. One of my biggest pet peeves lately is guys who contact me stating they are bored and want to be entertained (if they are bored / boring I won't be able to fix that, haha).
  • fb4you

    Posts: 21

    Nov 17, 2011 3:18 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    27828X saidI have a point to make here...IF I WANTED TO READ A DAMN BOOK I'D GRAB MY KINDLE.
    Go yap to someone who gets paid to listen to a life-story, bro.



    CONGRATULATIONS!! You win the "ASSHOLE OF THE DAY" award at RJ.

    Kudos to the OP for starting a thought provoking thread on a topic that we can actually all relate to in some way because the technology that is making such a huge dent in our social senses can, and is having repercussions on many levels of society. The sad thing is that this whole age of GRINDR, and other similar apps, is probably only the beginning of what will likely have an even bigger impact as more and more resources become available for people to interact without actually having to meet at all. Technology has provided us a "safety net" of sorts in which to interact with others (even anonymously if we choose) from within the confines of our own home...and I'm not so sure if it will ultimately prove to be a good thing.


    I recently read a book watched some youtube videos that stated a futuristic view into reality of virtual reality, robots, and holodeck like devices that people would use to find their potential mate. After all if it can be perfect why do we need humans to fill the spot. It just hits home with some of the posts of how guys don't want a relationship just someone perfect and the ease of looking for prince charming (amidst everyone that they reject and don't match those doctored fantasy's of the perfect porn star, whose probably a straight actor). When in real life will we have a unlike or block button to someone in front of us if we have had enough. Or they can give a internet based chat term as they are chatting with 10 guys in one real room simultaneously. Will it be finding your life partner or mate when you can custom order them on Amazon and change them at any time.
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    Nov 17, 2011 3:20 PM GMT
    dateableguy said I am told someone who is outgoing, well spoken, fun to be around, etc... seems preoccupied and thus unapproachable.


    I didn't understand this. Someone gave you this feedback even though you weren't feeling it at the time at all?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 3:26 PM GMT
    dateableguy said

    I recently read a book watched some youtube videos that stated a futuristic view into reality of virtual reality, robots, and holodeck like devices that people would use to find their potential mate. After all if it can be perfect why do we need humans to fill the spot. It just hits home with some of the posts of how guys don't want a relationship just someone perfect and the ease of looking for prince charming (amidst everyone that they reject and don't match those doctored fantasy's of the perfect porn star, whose probably a straight actor). When in real life will we have a unlike or block button to someone in front of us if we have had enough. Or they can give a internet based chat term as they are chatting with 10 guys in one real room simultaneously. Will it be finding your life partner or mate when you can custom order them on Amazon and change them at any time.


    Could you imagine? the whole thing is artificial... you don't need to primp or even leave your room. Just don the VR glasses, attach a few sensors and there's your "man".

    Um, no thanks.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Nov 17, 2011 3:30 PM GMT
    Stongly DISagree.
    I've made LOTS of close connections and friends through grinder, manhunt, okcupid, dudesnude, etc.
    At least two very serious boyfriends and some people that will probably be life-long friends.

    Short version: if you're not connecting with people it's not on the medium - it's on you (and probably your unwillingness to engage and use the medium).

    Importantly though, I never try to force a connection. I meet people. Our relationships evolve organically. Sometimes the person is really cool and whether it be after we've met in real life or just chatting we become close.
    I don't try to force conversations with someone I don't know (and indeed I, like many, would probably avoid someone that did - forced intimacy is at best awkward).

    Nothing about high-throughput networking, nor about being "slutty" for that matter, means you can't form strong meaningful connections (even platonic ones). In fact you should be able to form that many more. If you're secretly judgmental of the whole medium though, you're probably not going to have much luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 3:38 PM GMT
    I get your statements, but my experience tells me that you can overcome it.

    I came out about 1990 and I had my first date from an ad in the alternative weekly newspaper. I rented a po box, placed the ad and waited 10 days for the letters with Polaroids to start rolling in. icon_rolleyes.gif Most often, the guy you met was closeted, which meant that your relationship is less important than not upsetting his co-workers or neighbors.Then the local gay paper was filled with guys who died that week from AIDS, some as young as you.

    My point is, every generation has its problems, and reading books about how bad it is only makes it seem worse. The bottom line is, you can either complain....or go out and make it happen for yourself. I see plenty of gay marriages, people happy, and living monogamously. What's stopping you from being one of them?

    You can have what you want, or at least the important stuff. But you have to ask for it and communicate what you want. You also have to look for it, as he is out there...you just have to find him. Good luck.
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    Nov 17, 2011 3:40 PM GMT
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  • fb4you

    Posts: 21

    Nov 17, 2011 4:41 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile said
    dateableguy said I am told someone who is outgoing, well spoken, fun to be around, etc... seems preoccupied and thus unapproachable.


    I didn't understand this. Someone gave you this feedback even though you weren't feeling it at the time at all?


    Yes thats correct ;-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2011 4:43 PM GMT
    You get from the world what you put in to it.

    For example: Sour grapes in = whine out.